Returning to racing in strong and competitive form this year, OTI Racing are hopeful a classy six-year-old Brambles will be able to get across and find cover early in the 2014 Melbourne Cup after drawing the wide and awkward barrier 21.
Spending nearly two years in the spelling paddock nursing a severe tendon injury back to full strength, Brambles had received an ideal lead-in to the Melbourne Cup 2014; finishing second to Stipulate in the Listed Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes (1700m) and winning the Spring Is The Season Handicap (1700m) on September 13th before placing a close third in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and commendable fourth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Appearing on course for a final competitive hit-out when ninth in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday, OTI Racing’s Terry Henderson said the syndicate is hopeful the run has taken the edge off the Savabeel gelding who will be aiming to cut across the front of the 2014 Melbourne Cup field to find cover from jump.
“Everything was OK – it wasn’t the best of runs really for a 2000m race, he’s more dour and he ran like a dour horse today,” Henderson said following Saturday evening’s Melbourne Cup barrier draw.
“Hopefully that’s just taken the edge off him.
“Certainly from out in that barrier he’s going to have to get across, hopefully get some cover and we’ll see if he can stay two miles.”
Securing six impressive race wins and as many minor places over his 19 race career to date, Brambles undoubtedly found career-best form through the 2012 Winter Carnival; taking out each of the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) and Group 2 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) on his way to a maiden victory at the highest level of Australian racing in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m).
Drawn in barrier 21 for the 2014 Melbourne Cup, Brambles will incredibly leave alongside fellow OTI runners Gatewood and Au Revoir, who were allocated barrier 22 and 23 respectively on Saturday evening. Fourth OTI entrant Lidari has without doubt drawn the most favourably and will leave from the central barrier 10 in the Melbourne Cup 2014.
Charged with carry just 54kgs in the Race That Stops a Nation, Brambles is yet to receive much more than a sprinkling of bets for success in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and remains perched at odds of $41 with Ladbrokes Australia.